This post follows on from my last post about your thought patterns ‘What are you telling yourself about sleep’, so please read that first, then this one will make more sense!
I use this process with coaching clients who are stuck in one thought pattern and want to change to another. This works well with sleep problems, especially insomnia and other non specific disorders, though you can use it with any situation you feel stuck in – weight loss, lack of money etc. It is a visualisation process, so allow yourself to picture the situation and notice how your body feels during the two different stages.
Picture that you are holding a stick in your hand – it needs to be a really long stick, (you’ll see why in a minute), as big as a javelin. It’s impossible to hold it at both ends.
Now imagine at one end of the stick is the negative thoughts that you have around sleep -
I always sleep badly
Why can’t I sleep like everyone else
I’m always tired etc
Now imagine the other end of the stick, and it has all the positive thoughts that about sleep -
I sleep like a baby
I always wake feeling rested and refreshed
Sleep restores my body etc
Now because this stick is so big, you can only hold one end of it. If you are holding the end that has all the negative thoughts, then you cannot hold the end with the positive thoughts.
Now picture yourself holding the stick at the negative end. Start repeating all the negative thoughts that you have about sleep, and notice how you feel. Is your body tensing up? How is your breath? How do you feel about sleep? Just as we discussed last week, it is our thoughts that hold us back from what we want and determine what we achieve, so if you are holding the negative end of the stick you are like the repelling end of the magnet and is pushing away the possibility of great sleep.
It is impossible to have both negative and positive thoughts about sleep (and whatever subject you are choosing) at the same time, so you need to drop the stick, and change your thought patterns!
So you can now choose to hold the positive end, the end with the positive thoughts about sleep. So picture yourself holding the stick at the positive end and start to go through those positive thoughts and notice how different it feels. How much calmer you become and how the possibility for great sleep becomes more real. This is like the positive end of a magnet that attracts more good thoughts and then as these increase, more good feelings about sleep.
So next time you realise that you are stuck in a negative thought pattern, (perhaps you are in bed and unable to fall asleep), take a deep breath and ask which end of the stick are you holding and which end do you want to be holding and make a conscious decision to take hold of the positive. Really focus on those good feelings and allow your body to relax as this will allow you to sleep.
I hope this visualisation helps you in achieving a better night’s sleep, please let me know your thoughts and if it works.
(I just went to check where I found this process and it wasn’t in the book I thought it was. So, I would love to give credit for it, so if anyone recognises it, then please let me know!)
Charlotte Welply is a life coach and speaker and specializes in insomnia and other sleep difficulties. Having overcome years of insomnia herself,Charlottehas developed a passion for helping others who suffer from sleep deprivation and the effects it has on the body and lifestyle. She enjoys working with her clients helping them to achieve heir goals of a great night’s sleep. She is also able to combine her years of experience as a child carer and family worker with her life coaching skills and also works with parents in helping them to teach their children to sleep – ensuring a restful and restorative night’s sleep for all the family.
There are links on her website www.charlottewelply.com to free guided mediations and pamphlets to help you and your children sleep, as well as information on upcoming courses. You can also follow her on facebook https://www.facebook.com/charlottewelply and twitter @CharlotteWelply for tips, news and information about the world of sleep.
Category: Guest Columnist